From Joker to Playboy: Jared Leto to star as Hugh Hefner in biopic

hugh hefner movie news cast blade runner jared leto
Less than a week after the death of Hugh Hefner, plans for a biopic have been announced, with Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto set to star as the iconic Playboy founder.

Set to be helmed by Rush Hour and X-Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner, the Hefner biopic will chronicle the life and career of the men’s culture mogul.

“Jared is an old friend,” Ratner told The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the actor’s involvement with the project. “When he heard I got the rights to Hef’s story, he told me, ‘I want to play him. I want to understand him.’ And I really believe Jared can do it. He’s one of the great actors of today.”

This will be the second time around for Ratner and the biopic. The veteran director and producer was previously attached to a Hefner biopic with the blessing of the Playboy founder himself. Robert Downey Jr. was expected to play the lead role. That project eventually stalled out and was later picked up by another studio that planned to have The Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin at the helm. The project changed hands again later on, with Ratner regaining the rights to the film for his production company, RatPac Entertainment.

Ratner is also planning to develop a reboot of Playboy After Dark, the television talk show that Hefner hosted in the 1960s.

Born in April 1926, Hefner founded Playboy magazine in 1953 and served as the editor-in-chief of the publication and the chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, the multimedia organization he built around the Playboy brand. He built a reputation as a dedicated bon vivant who was often accompanied by multiple “girlfriends” anywhere he went, and seen wearing expensive silk pajamas and smoking a pipe. He celebrated that lifestyle through the various elements of the Playboy empire, and was known to be an outspoken advocate of sexual liberation and freedom of expression.

Hefner died September 27, 2017, at age 91.

There’s no official timeline for the Hefner biopic at this point, but Ratner has indicated that he plans to “do the motion picture as an event.” Leto, who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, will next appear in Blade Runner 2049, which hits theaters Friday, October 6.

Business

‘The Grinch’ steals the box-office crown from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch is the new box-office champion, knocking off Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and posting a better opening weekend than Jim Carrey's 2000 live-action film based on the character.
Movies & TV

One popular character won't be returning for 'John Wick 3: Parabellum'

The third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, John Wick 3: Parabellum, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Cassian Andor series and 'Mandalorian' details expand Star Wars' future

Disney has sky-high expectations for its Star Wars universe, with plenty of plans for the franchise on the big screen and television over the next few years. Here are all the upcoming movies and TV shows, both rumored and confirmed.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

He created comics, movies, and superheroes. But Stan Lee lived for joy

Stan Lee was a creator, a celebrity, an icon, and beneath it all, a real-life good guy with all the same human qualities that made his superheroes so relatable. And his greatest joy was sharing his creations with the world.
Movies & TV

The ‘Toy Story 4’ teaser trailer is here to fork with your emotions

Disney released the first teaser trailer for its latest addition to the Toy Story franchise. The quick glimpse of what's to come shows all our favorite toys back in action, as well as a strange -- and seemingly unhinged -- new character.
Gaming

Everyone’s favorite Pokémon turns gumshoe in ‘Detective Pikachu’ trailer

The first Detective Pikachu trailer has arrived, and it looks like a video game movie could actually be good? Voiced by Ryan Reynolds, Pikachu is undeniably cute in what is shaping up to be a family-friendly buddy comedy.
Movies & TV

Stan Lee has died: Marvel Comics icon and legendary creator dead at 95

Stan Lee, one of the world's most important and iconic comic-book authors, has died at the age of 95. Creator of some of the most famous and beloved superheroes and villains of all time, Lee leaves behind an indelible legacy.
Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Movies & TV

Star Wars series 'The Mandalorian' adds 'Deadpool' actress Gina Carano

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Music

The best movie soundtracks of all time, from 'Star Wars' to 'E.T.'

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled popular music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.